Former governor of Oyo state and APC governorship aspirant for the 2019 election, Otunba Alao-Akala, announced on Saturday that he will boycott the party’s governorship primary election scheduled to hold on Sunday.
He also directed his supporters to do the same.
In a statement by his media aide, Jeremiah Akande, Alao-Akala alleged that Governor Abiola Ajimobi had sent words round to coerce and intimidate delegates into voting for fellow aspirant, Mr Joseph Olasunkanmi Tegbe during the primaries.
But in his reaction, Governor Ajimobi described Akala’s allegation as ‘unsubstantiated’, stressing that he has so far demonstrated that he has no favorite among the aspirants.
Akala’s spokesman, in his statement, said “Ajimobi has clandestinely offered Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala the ministerial slot of Oyo State in an attempt to pitch him against Barr. Adebayo Shittu, an offer he has rejected in its entirety as he is not one to be tailored or shown the way round in the game of politics.”
The statement said Alao-Akala “wishes to state categorically that he is not a push-over in the game of politics and as a well grounded and groomed politician who has occupied the number one seat of a politically conscious state as Oyo State will not be part of any move or attempt to subvert the true will and wish of the people by the selfish interest of an individual.
But Ajimobi’s Special Adviser on Communication and Strategy, Mr Bolaji Tunji, describing Akala as a respected politicians who has played a good role in fostering unity in the party, reminded him that Ajimobi once met the aspirants and advised them to pick a few among them that will go into the primary.
Tunji explained that the governor has emphasized severally at the meeting that he has not anointed any of them. He added that the aspirants, who were originally up to 26, did not get back to the governor on those they have chosen to participate in the primary.
The governor’s spokesman said it is not uncommon for aspirants to come up with excuses and unsubstantiated allegations when it becomes clear to them that they may not win an election.
Eight aspirants are jostling to succeed Ajimobi in the party.